Safe Employer Award

  A new initiative for the QASC is to recognize a member organization with a “Safe Employer” Award. Any QASC member may nominate their own company or another company for this prestigious award where safety professionals pay homage to other safety professionals.

Prince Agri Products, Inc., located in Quincy, IL. has been selected as “Safe Employer 2012”. Pictured below are members of the safety committee who are partially responsible for the success of the outstanding safety program adopted by the company managers and employees of Prince Agri Products.
QASC Safe Employer (2)


The Safe Employer Award program was established to honor a Quincy Area Safety Council member for their outstanding safety program.

The council board voted to accept the entry from Prince Agri Products, Inc. Quincy, IL as the “Safe Employer 2012”. Thanks to Tara Hanson and Adam Ancelet for the time and effort they expended in preparing the following information which highlights the company’s dedication to safety and, in particular, to employee engagement. With two safety professionals on staff and approximately 100 employees at the Quincy location the following means of effective and regular communication is used to remind the employees of the importance of safety.

  • Bulletin Boards (Safety information posted and current)
  • President/CEO messages (top/down approach communicated with regard to safety)
  • Safety Newsletter (Published on a regular basis)
  • Safety Reporting (Open sharing with employees about safety costs, accidents, safety records, lost work days, etc.)
  • Intranet Safety Site for employees
  • Safety Information Included in Employee Handbook
  • Communications with employees regarding new safety processes
  • Employee orientation, includes safety focus and training
  • Safety Recognition letters and Employee Awards
  • Problem resolution process for safety concerns
  • Safety hot line and emergency contact numbers published for employee use
  • Job descriptions includes safety requirements

Tara indicated that Prince Agri does make sure that they have effective safety communication and do measure their success by the following communications.

We have a daily Operations Call which includes a cross section of departments throughout the company. This call starts everyday with the reading of our Safety and Quality Values, along with any issues from the previous day at all locations. At the Quincy plant a bi-weekly SQP (Safety, Quality, Performance) meeting is held at 7am and 3pm on every Tuesday and Thursday. Also at the Quincy Office a Safety Meeting is held on the first and third Tuesday of the month. There are Safety Committees at both the Plant and Office, with the plant meeting twice a month and the office meeting once a month. We have a Town Hall meeting every month where the President speaks and starts each meeting with Safety First! We have a quarterly newsletter “The Crown” which features a Safety article in each issue related to our locations. Near Misses are discussed at the SQP meeting for feedback and resolution. For us zero is the measure of success.

Tara and Adam indicated that they do rely a lot on employee input and feedback regarding safety issues through the SQP meetings that encourages participation in safety issues by way of employee presentations, near miss discussion and other discussion topics. Issues discovered by the Safety Committees are compiled and documented on an outstanding Issues list by plant location and is viewed by maintenance and a vice president on a minimum of a monthly basis. A monthly Safety Tip is sent out to field and travel employees who are based off site or are often off site. We have 6S events at both locations and we have started a new Process Improvement Team. 6S is a function of lean manufacturing (5S) with 1 more S for Safety added by Prince Agri Products. An Employee Engagement Survey was adopted followed by an Employee Safety Satisfaction Program (in which suggestions are actively received, reviewed and implemented). Through these changes the employees have access to Leadership Team Members, an Open Door Policy, and involvement in the safety change process. In addition these changes have opened the door for employees to become involved in safety and quality programs and become part of the management of Ad-hoc committees.

Employee educational development and advancement in the area of safety became a goal of Prince Agri. Online computer based training, Professional Safety Seminars, Professional Safety Association Memberships and Professional Safety Certification and Licensing were sponsored and paid for by Prince Agri. Employees became involved in establishing safety goals, attending safety conferences and attending safety courses offered by the National Safety Council. Visits were made to our customers and vendors to hear and observe their best practices for safety.

Safety training does not stop when we leave the job. An annual Safety Day is held each year. The Safety Day always has a theme that is relative to outside work. This event includes speakers from the community who speak to the theme…for example this year the topic was Emergency Preparedness, we had a speaker from the Red Cross, WGEM Strom Watch, River Rescue and West Central IL Task Force . All employees stopped working for 3 hours that day (11:30a-2:30p) and attended the events. All employees were also given a crank emergency radio. In addition Prince Agri promoted and used the following ideas to encourage “Safety for Life:

  • Promotes and Accommodates Employees’ Involvement in Community Safety Efforts
  • Company Newsletter Includes Home Safety Tips
  • Family-Focused Company Events Include Safety
  • Fitness/Wellness Center On-Site or Subsidized by the Company
  • Company Subsidizes or Sponsors Activity Programs, Such as Charity Walks
  • Smoking Cessation Programs Offered or Subsidized by the Company
  • Company Sponsors Health Screenings or Wellness Fairs
  • Company Sponsors Health-Focused Programs (Such as educational lunch-and-learns, Biggest Loser programs, etc.)

Prince Agri supports a positive professional safety culture and is able to accomplish this through our corporate owner. Phibro Animal Health has a Organization wide Safety Committee made up of our various divisions. Our Leadership Team discusses safety at their monthly meeting. As mentioned above our President talks about “Safety First” at our company wide Town Hall meeting. We have a corporate EHS person as well as EHS related positions at each division and facility. We have a worldwide EHS call once a month. In addition the company utilizes the following methods to insure that this positive professional safety culture continues.

  • Safety Mission and Vision Statement Implemented and Well-Communicated
  • Equitable and Consistent Application of Safety Policies
  • Written and Communicated Problem Resolution Process for Safety Issues
  • Employee Assistance Program Subsidized by the Company
  • Leadership and Executive Team Visible to Non-Leadership Employees
  • Safety Function (Has dedicated and knowledgeable safety personnel, either as an individual department or part of another department, of a size that aligns with total employment size)
  • Executive Leadership is open to employees thoughts and input regarding safety
  • Supervisory Training in Safety Areas
  • Harassment Prevention Policy Published and Distributed Annually
  • Anti-Harassment/Diversity Training Provided to Managers and employees

Our SQP meetings are a best practice that has had a profound effect on our Safety culture. Through these meetings various levels of leadership speak to the value of safety being a 24/365 activity. The meetings encourage employee participation through presentations, training, employee development, engagement and feedback.

The business problem or opportunity the safety practice addresses is decreasing our Recordable Rate by increasing employee engagement and focus to safety, and building a strong safety culture.

As proof of our success with the project we have,

  • Solved a business problem
  • Improved the organization’s financial performance
  • Enhanced internal and external customer satisfaction and improved employee productivity and morale.

Five years ago we had 11 Recordable in one year. For our fiscal year 2012 (7/11-6/12) we had 2 Recordable, resulting in the best safety record so far for Prince Agri Products as a company. The decrease has a direct relationship to work comp claims which benefits financial performance for the organization. In today’s business world more of our customers are looking at employee safety rates to evaluate the type of corporation we are operating. For our industry the Recordable Rate is 4.4, currently our rate is .60. Our ranking from our most recent companywide employee engagement survey, ranked Prince at 87% engagement vs. the benchmark of 58% for other companies. As further evidence of our safety success we have never had an OSHA citation.

Congratulations to Prince Agri for earning the 2012 Safe Employer Award from the Quincy Area Safety Council!